A MAN who ‘cruelly murdered’ a husband and wife while their son slept next door has been jailed for life today.
Stanley Elliott, 53, stabbed his friends Geoffrey and Michelle Hibbert to death after the couple “planned to throw him under the bus” for a £28,000 bingo hall burglary Both men were charged.
A jury heard Elliott was left alone at their home in Basingstoke, Hants, while he was babysitting the couple’s son.
Geoffrey, 61, was stabbed 58 times in the neck and torso, while Michelle, 29, was stabbed seven times.
Michelle then called emergency services and informed them that they had both been stabbed at their home.
The jury at Winchester Crown Court was told that Mr Hibbert and Elliott had both been charged with a burglary at Buzz Bingo at Basingstoke Leisure Park.
Detective Constable Thomas Bailey told the court the couple had denied the offenses and the court case was ongoing at the time of Mr Hibbert’s murder.
Under questioning by prosecutors, Det, Con. Bailey said investigators believed the pair hid in the toilets before breaking into the bingo hall, with Mr Hibbert entering through a roof panel before letting Elliott through the door.
The court heard the balaclava-clad men then ransacked the safe and stole £28,500 during the January 8, 2020 raid.
Prosecutor Sarah Jones QC told the court the couple had been tracked down after contractors repairing the damage to the roof presented a pink iPhone with photos of Mr Hibbert and his family, along with messages giving his full name and address and his Apple ID had found .
Detectives also found that the bumbling burglars had exchanged messages in which they appeared to be discussing the burglary, including pictures of the bingo hall and a discussion about the roof.
A search of both men’s homes resulted in the recovery of more than £3,000 worth of cash – £2,000 from Mr Hibbert’s home and £1,000 coins from Elliott’s home.
Ms Jones told the court that just hours before the Hibberts were killed, Mr Hibbert had filed a defense statement with the court, saying he had loaned his phone to Elliott, who then lost it.
She previously told the court: “The Crown cannot say with certainty that Stan Elliott knew of the defense statement … but if he learned how Geoff Hibbert would react with that statement, it could explain a loss of temper for Stan Elliot.
“Whether he objected strongly to Mr Hibbert throwing him under the bus we cannot say.
“We can’t say the burglary had anything to do with how they met their deaths. It could be a red herring.”
Prosecutors told the court that a search of the Hibberts’ home turned up multiple footage of Ms. Hibbert having sex with multiple men.
During an earlier hearing, Mr Henley told the court that Ms Hibbert was a “sex worker”.
Defense attorney Chris Henley claimed the Hibberts then blackmailed the men with the footage.
Elliott, of Kiln Road, Sherborne St. John, near Basingstoke, Hants., was convicted of double murder after the trial.
Today High Court Judge Mr Justice Garnham awarded Elliott two life sentences for the murder of the couple with a minimum sentence of 34 years behind bars.
He said: “It was the jury’s conclusion that in those 20 minutes you attacked and killed both Geoffrey and Michelle. That this was their conclusion was hardly surprising.”
Mr Justice Garnham added that the jury would likely remember Ms Hibbert’s call of 999 for “the rest of her life” and she named Elliott as her killer.
He said: “The last thing we can hear is what I take as fact, the sound of Michelle’s throat being cut by you.”
Concluding the hearing, the judge said: “This must have been the most horrific and horrific death for Geoffrey and Michelle. You both knew you stabbed your spouse.
“That was a prolonged, intensified, frenzied knife attack by you on two defenseless people.”
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18124969/man-jailed-murdering-couple-bingo-raid/ Man jailed for murdering couple as their son slept after they ‘planned to throw him under bus for £28,000 bingo robbery’